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Harmony prenatal test - anyone know about it

(831 Posts)
RTchoke Mon 29-Oct-12 05:41:25

today I am having a new kind of prenatal test called Harmony. It's non-invasive and seems to just be a new kind of blood test plus the regular nuchal scan but it's much more accurate than the traditional nuchal blood test. Apparently it's nearly as accurate as a CVS but without any risk.

I'm the only person I know who is having this test and nobody else seems to have heard of it let alone have been offered it. I just wondered if others have and knowledge of it and how accurate it is.

JaneLondon2013 Fri 07-Jun-13 09:59:13

many thanks BryanBettie

BryanBeattie Sun 09-Jun-13 08:34:56

Happy to chat tomorrow if any good. I have set up a directory for the network of centres who offer the test Nd recently hosted an educational meeting in Cardiff attended by the CEO if Ariosa Diagnostics who developed the test.
I am not sure if I can post the link but happy to do so if the moderators approve.
Bryan Beattie
Consultant in Fetal Medicine

PS Perhaps Mumsnet could host the Directory as an independent third party??

Samantha1981a Sun 09-Jun-13 18:07:52

I found out Friday from out NHS 12 week scan that I have a high risk of DS 1 in 25, with a nuchal fold measurement of 3.3mm, my blood hormones were high also, 3.88 where they should be around 1.
I have booked at a local private hospital for non-invasive pre natal blood tests tomorrow, is this the same as the Harmony test you speak of? The blood is then sent to a clinic n London to then be send to San Jose, I've been told I should have results by the following weekend, so about 12 days. I've felt awful all weekend, I don't know how I'm gonna get through the next two weeks sad
I've found the thread very useful! Thank you.

lotsofbananas Wed 19-Jun-13 14:58:09

Hi everyone, I have learned lot from what you have all posted.

I have been given a combined NHS scan result (neuchal and bloods) of 1/470, and I am 43.

We are trying to decide whether we should also pay for the Harmony test. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Bumpino Fri 28-Jun-13 18:03:31

Thanks to this thread I contacted the Fetal Medicine Centre where they did the Harmony Test together with the nuchal scan without any extra cost. This really helped me. I am 40, my NHS appointment for a scan was later than I'd expected and I just wanted to put my mind at rest, if possible, as I felt really nervous - not helped by previous history and (of course) medical professionals highlighting the "geriatric mother" risks. My blog has a bit more about the harmony test if anyone here is considering it:

Lorakk Sun 30-Jun-13 23:24:29

Hijust wanted to let people know. google Harmonybabycentre than you can find discussion about Harmony,maternity21,vetify tests on community.babycentre discussion Its US site but gives you lots of info about this test. They started to use it much earlier than here so more outcomes stories. Most of them have positive experience ,meaning the test showed low risk,negative and baby is heealthy. Also quite a few false positives followef by amnio with normal result on amnio. But also few false negatives ,not many but ... 3 babies had negative test but at the end the have been diagnosed with Downs syndrome. One of tjem from twin babies. Do not want to scare anyone but I think its better to know. Its very stressful time for me as I did harmony but not amnio. I have 2 months till edd and its scary

fluffyraggies Tue 09-Jul-13 13:24:19

Hi, i had the harmony test at the London FMC last Monday, on the 1st July, and i had a call today to say the test failed sad Not enough of babys DNA in my blood sample to give a result.

I was due to go back in for the results + nuchal can next Monday, but the receptionist said she could squeeze me in for the nuchal and a re-take of the Harmony tonight at 6pm! I'm 12 weeks today.

I'm high risk - 1:20 based on my age and the fact that my last baby had T21. (confirmed by amnio. no Harmony test for that one)

I'm gutted. And also paranoid that the result was in fact bad and they just want to get us back in asap sad

Have read the thread and i am grateful that ihave learned it's £500 for CVS. I may need to be ready for that later perhaps.


Oldbambams33 Fri 12-Jul-13 19:33:54

Hi everyone. Just to add my story as I have found such comfort reading others stories on mumsnet. At 13 weeks I had my dating scan with everything looking fine. Bloods were taken for DS screening but to be honest I never thought anymore of it till I got a phone call 3 days later saying we were high risk, 1 in 60! To say I was devastated is to put it mildly.

Age: 33
NT: 1.3
Free Beta: 3.73
Papa A: 0.33

I was then offered a CVS or amnio at 15 weeks. I couldn't face the risk of miscarriage (even though v small) so I started to look into genetic testing. It was my screening midwife that suggested the TDL Clinic and the Harmony Test. After speaking with Dr. Lisa on the phone I decided to go for it. Dr. Lisa organised with my NHS screening midwife to send the kit up to Aberdeen and I had the bloods drawn up here then sent down to London. After 10 torturous days I got a call from my midwife saying the test had failed, that there wasn't enough foetal DNA. I then had a second blood draw and 14 days later we found out that we have very small odds of the baby have Trisomy 13,18 & 21 (ie Downs Syndrome) 1 in 10000. On top of that we now know we are having a little boy. We are over the moon!! The last 5 weeks have been the worst of my life but I would recommend the Harmony test to anyone out there that like me wanted a non invasive solution.

MrsJ78 Thu 18-Jul-13 11:39:01

Hi. I'm so thankful I've found this thread. With a test as new as the Harmony I think the more people that can add their info the better so I thought I should pitch in too.

I had a call on Tuesday from the NHS telling us that we were considered high risk at 1:120. My age isn't too awful at 35 and the scan seemed good. I had thought I was 12 weeks + 5 days but was told I was actually 13 weeks + 5 days. I'm still not sure if this can be right but who knows. Anyway, I was told that the nuchal fold measurement at 2.3mm for 13 weeks + 5 days was well within the normal range. The CRL was 7.7cm.

The problem comes from the blood test - HGC 1.8 (apparently too high)and PAPP-A 0.44 (apparently too low). I already have a daughter who is 3 years old and my results when pregnant with her, while considered low risk, weren't too stunning either - 1:550. Again my age (31 at the time) was ok, the scan was great but my HGC and PAPP-A levels were almost identical to what they are this time. I've spoken to a lot of people (two clinics that offer further testing, ARC and the midwife that had to deliver the high-risk news) and it seems 50/50 whether people think that almost identical blood results in two consecutive pregnancies are irrelevant (all pregnancies are different etc) or a possible indicator of this just being how my body/blood responds to pregnancy.

It's been an awful few days. I am now booked to go to the FMC in London early next week for the Harmony blood test and an early anomaly scan. By then I will be (according to the NHS dating scan at least) 14 weeks + 6 days so way too late for the NF etc. However, I'm hoping that I'll have some positive information following the scan next week and a nice low risk result a couple of weeks later!

I'm also trying to bear in mind that a friend of mine gave birth to a perfectly healthy little boy last month after receiving a risk factor of 1:54 and that my own previous pregnancy threw out the same the blood test results and my daughter is more than fine.

Good luck to everyone going through the same/similar things and I'll post back here when I've been.

fluffyraggies Sat 20-Jul-13 12:07:32

I agree, this thread is a great source of info. on real life experience.

Update for me - last posted on the 9th July, the same day London FMC had called me to say Harmony test had failed and would i come back that evening for the 12 week NT week scan, 6 days earlier than planned.

Went back - staff were wonderful. Very apologetic, even though it's no one's fault there wasn't enough DNA in my 1st sample. Gave 2nd blood sample then went in for NT 12 week scan. DH and i were terrified history would repeat it's self. Sonographer was aware of this and was amazing. She spent an hour scanning baby. I even had an internal scan. (not too bad) Most of this time was trying to get baby to take it's hands away from it's face so we could see the nasal bone! She didn't give up even though it was past closing time - 8pm! Saw the nasal bone in the end. Nuchal fold was only 1.3 mm, heart and stomach of baby all fine. My risk has gone down from 1:20 before scan, to 1:175 after looking at markers, and looking at my blood.

So relieved. Waiting now for the Harmony test results. Again! Today is 11 days later, so it must be v.soon. They have told me they do not give the sex of the baby, but quite honestly i don't care! i just want to hear that baby is OK.

Just for more info - as well as going to the FMC i have also been keeping my NHS appts. My 12 week scan with the NHS echoed what the FMC said. It was a dilemma for me what to do about this. But I found that with my last pregnancy (T21) the fact that i had gone private for the 12 week scan seemed to make me 'drop off the radar' as far as my midwife and the hospital were concerned somehow. I didn't want that to happen again.

Flofox73 Tue 23-Jul-13 12:31:38

Hi everyone,
It is so reassuring to see I'm not the only one worrying....I've just found out I'm pregnant with Baby number 4. I went to FMC for my last pregnancy 5 yrs ago and I found them really reassuring and clear and it gave me the confidence to enjoy my pregnancy. I just rang the FMC to book the 11-13 week scan for this baby and they told me about the Harmony Testing which I'd never heard of before. As I'm 40 yrs old now I am much much more worried about something going wrong this time.

I just wanted anyone who reads this to know that the Harmony info isn't on the FMC website and so I've just quizzed the lady there who answered the phone when I tried to book an 11-13 week scan. Basically she said that if you are between 10 weeks and 10 weeks and 6 days before end of August this year then the Harmony test is free and so you pay only for the 11-13 week scan which is £180. From September onwards the Harmony test plus 11-13 week scan is going to cost £400. So if you've just found out your pregnant maybe think about booking it sooner rather than later.

I'm not sure why they are so focused on the specific gestation period, so I'm going to read back through the hundreds of posts here.

We've now decided to come back into London (ironically I only live about 20 minutes from the FMC) from a camping holiday to take the Harmony test at 10 weeks to the day just before the end of August.

Please believe me that I found the FMC worth every penny in my last pregnancy for the reassurance and level of detail and information.

Good luck everyone xxxxxx

clairedunphy Wed 24-Jul-13 09:25:24

Hi everyone,

Another real life update here. I haven't posted on this thread before but read it all through and wouldn't have known about Harmony without Mumsnet so a huge thank you for everyone else's experiences.

I'm 10 + 6 with DC2, IVF pregnancy on our 3rd attempt and I'm now 41 so we were much more concerned than last time, when we were blissfully naive about all the risks! So having read all the info I booked into FMC for the £180 deal and we took the train down yesterday.

They were great, we were a bit late which they were lovely about, and the scan was really reassuring as she spent ages checking as much as she could for this stage of pregnancy. But, unfortunately for us, they weren't able to continue with the Harmony test because she found what was possibly a second sac.

She couldn't be 100% sure, it may just be a small blood clot, but it's possible it's a sac left over from a "vanishing twin" (lovely phrase!). We had 2 embryos transferred with our treatment, so there's a chance that one didn't make it but has left some chromosomal material in this sac. So my blood sample may show abnormal chromosomes which are related to that sac and give a false positive. Because of the risk of this the doctor was unwilling to do the Harmony test.

We're quite disappointed but really appreciated her honesty. We agreed to go back in 2 weeks for the 12 week scan and bloods anyway, as that will give a better indicator than the NHS scan (which doesn't check for all the same things). However, we've now decided that it's not worth the day off work for us both and trip to London so we're going to a local private clinic for the 12 week scan instead.

And a big thumbs up to FMC, I've just phoned them to cancel our next appointment and asked how much we owe them for yesterday, and they said we don't have to pay anything! So that's a bonus, we effectively got a really reassuring 10 week scan for free (always looking on the bright side!).

So whilst my experience hasn't quite worked out, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend FMC, they obviously have the interests of their patients absolutely at the forefront of what they're doing.

On another note, we pre-booked our train tickets for the 12 week scan and now can't get a refund. I'll start a new thread but if anyone can use 2 returns from Birmingham International to London Euston on 6th August then let me know!

MrsJ78 Thu 25-Jul-13 09:43:58

So, we've been to the FMC, the blood test has been done and now the wait begins. As I am 15 weeks pregnant we had to pay for £400 for the test but it is worth every penny as far as I am concerned. The early foetal anomaly scan was incredible. Very, very detailed and a reassuring 'normal' given for every single marker that they would be looking for. I'm glad we had the scan as it has given us a really positive boost which will hopefully sustain us during the wait for the results.

henryscat01 Thu 25-Jul-13 12:34:16

Hi everyone - a friend told me about this test last night, as a 40 year old with first pregnancy, I am seriously considering taking this test.

Looking on the internet, it appears there are other places than FMC that do the testing. Is the FMC the best one to use? Thanks

MrsJ78 Thu 25-Jul-13 15:00:15

Hi Henryscat01,

I think there are a few other places that offer the test. If you phone ARC 0207 713 7486 they can probably give you details of the nearest place to where you live. It would actually have been quicker for us to go to Cardiff. However, they charge either £700 (or £750 - I can't remember) just for the Harmony blood test. At the FMC we got the Harmony blood test AND an early anomaly scan for £550. Plus they appear to be leaders in terms of research and development so they get my vote! Other people have said they have had a good deal at around £180 but I think it depends on your dates so it might be worth calling them. Best of luck!

babyjack2 Fri 26-Jul-13 16:31:21

Hi, Just wanted to add my experience of Harmony, I am 43 and pregnant with my 2nd baby first one at 40 and had the good fortune to go to Kings with him, however this time round even though higher risk (I've had problems since giving birth) my PCT don't send you to Kings anymore so looked for a Private Clinic - I went to The Avenue Clinic in Sevenoaks for an early scan and they told me about Harmony Mr Abbas FMC used to be at Kings with the Professor and also has an office in Harley Street very lovely man. Had my scan at exactly 12 weeks which was very positive and now have my results which were 1:10,000 and I was given the option to know the sex.

It' s expensive like most of the other places £650 including the scan but as I have a stepchild with Downs already we needed the peace of mind the NHS just can't offer you! His assistant said that the NHS are trialing it at 4 London hospitals (including Kings) but I think you have to be a High Risk result on the Nuchal to get it, but researching this test before agreeing and reading this thread I hope they do take it on - surely if the NHS take it on they could open a centre in the UK and dramatically cut the cost most of it is the specialist courier to the US!

Does anyone know if there is a petition or campaign to get Harmony on the NHS? There are so many people out there that can't afford to go private or don't even know they have an option!

fluffyraggies Sat 27-Jul-13 08:43:22

OK - update.

After waiting 17 days for the results i got a call yesterday ..... 2nd attempt at Harmony failed again! sad

Can't have a third test unless i want to pay again - and was advised by them not to bother (in a nice way) anyway because with 2 failed attempts behind me the likely hood is that it would just fail again. Humph. I guess i am one of those unlucky ones for whom it wouldn't/wont work.

I want to say, though, that despite the £180, plus the petrol, parking + congestion charges for 2 drives into central London (plus the time off work for DH) neither of us regrets going to the FMC for a moment. The treatment we received there was faultless. The 12 week scan they gave me was worth every penny of the £180. As i said in my last update she was scanning me for over an hour and past closing time!

I feel reassured by their words - more so than if i had just had the NHS scan. (Which was performed by a lovely lady, but only lasted 5 mins) and must settle down now and wait for my NHS 20 week scan.

Henry - for info. - the clinics local to me (within 30 miles) were all charging between £700 and £900 for the Harmony test!!!

rosalux Sat 27-Jul-13 14:46:26

Just to say, I have booked in for the HT in Cardiff in a week (when I will be 16 weeks) following a combined Test Result of 1:959. At 34 I know this is not particularly high compared to other people's results, but I am very anxious about pregnancy anyway. DH does not want me to have any invasive testing because of the risk of mc and we spoke to the fetal medicine consultant specialist at the hospital yesterday (which is the fetal medicine specialist centre for South West England) who confirmed that whilst the risk is smaller than the 1:100 quoted, they do always have at least one loss every year sad The consultant was very very positive about the HT though and said he expected it to be available on the NHS within a few years. He also said all the bloods are sent, via London, to California, which is the only place that does the testing at the moment, and that the lab there charges £500. Hence the high cost. It's £750 in Cardiff, including scan and amnio if the result comes back positive. The lady I spoke to said they basically don't make any more money from the test than a combined test (which is about £200 I think), which having spoken to the consultant I can believe.

Hope all goes well for everyone.

NB: my combined results at 12+6 were -
NT: 1.5mm
BHgc: 2.834
PAPP-A: 0.874

Think its the BHgc driving the risk up, but the consultant couldn't explain why it changes from pregnancy to pregnancy, save that it comes from the placenta not the mother

onceipopicantstop Sun 28-Jul-13 08:23:16

Hi all am finding this thread really helpful but haven't had time to read it all yet - so apologies if I'm repeating a question! I'm 39 and nearly 8 weeks with dc2. We had a nuchal scan last time which came back very low risk and went on to have a healthy baby. Feel much more anxious about ds this time due to my age. Have now heard about Harmony and wondering if we should go with this instead. Just a couple of queries:
1. Local clinic is Cardiff - they are charging £750 but this includes an amnio should it become necessary. Is this about right? Fmc seems cheaper but not sure if amnio included in price? (Obviously can call them but thought someone might know)
2. Is this still an experimental test? How many have been done etc etc
3. I've read somewhere that you can get false results from the dna of a previous pregnancy still being in your blood - has anyone else been told this?

Sorry for all the questions and thanks smile

fluffyraggies Sun 28-Jul-13 09:08:52

onceipop - at the FMC the original plan for me was that my Harmony test results would be back a day or two before going in for my 12 week scan. (They said they would never have a woman turn up for her scan and be faced with bad news there and then from a bad result), the idea, as i understood it, was that if the Harmony test results were indeed not good, then you could have a CVS instead.

The thing is if you go in early (up to 11 weeks) at the mo the £180 is for the scan/CVS and the Harmony is thrown in free. As someone has said this deal ends in September this year.

But i would ring them if i were you and have a chat. The receptionist (and it always seems to be the same one, it's a surprisingly small set up for such a famous clinic) is very clued up and very easy to talk to.

onceipopicantstop Sun 28-Jul-13 20:44:47

Thanks for the reply. We've had a look at dates this evening. I'm pretty sure we're going to go ahead with the harmony test and am keen to do it as soon as possible. But because of hols and dh's travel with work it's not really going to be feasible to get to London. So will have another chat with the Cardiff clinic and try and get booked in.

Xuxidog Wed 31-Jul-13 10:55:00

Hello there!

I am a frequent reader of mumsnet since becoming pregnant, but have registered specifically because of this thread, which has been so helpful and informative.

I am 36 years old and 14w4days pregnant with my first pregnancy. Its fair to say that I have been pretty anxious all the way through so far, after a couple of initial little bleeds.

I live in Mallorca, and our health insurance covers maternal care, so I have been very lucky to have seen my private OBGYN many times so far, and have had several scans.

He performed the NT scan at 12w6d (though I was measuring 13w6d) and all was normal - NT measurement of 1.89. Then he took blood and I cot the results back on Monday - 1:240 risk of downs (so higher than the 1:270 average for my age) and over 4 x normal HCG level. PAPP A was 1.3 something so within the norm.

He said that he would not do an amnio for another couple of weeks until the baby is bigger (8.6cm yesterday - back within my dates) but told me about the Harmony test which I went in for yesterday (he also did another quick scan as my request as I always find it reassuring to hear the heartbeat (148bpm) and know that the baby is alive and well). The test is not covered by our health plan, and we had to pay €750, but I decided it was worth it on the basis that a) I could be doing SOMETHING during the 2 weeks I would have to wait for an amnio and b) that I hopefully won't have to have an invasive and risky procedure if the Harmony results are good.

So - apparently, I am the first person that they have done the test for, and they don't know how long the results will take (they go to Barcelona I think), and he has now gone on holiday until 12th August (maybe thats why he would wait on the amnio??), so I will have to wait at least until then.

I told everyone I was pregnant at 12 weeks, as as anxious as I am, it more about m/c and I really didn't expect this....I don't do well with waiting and this next couple of weeks are going to feel like an eternity, and this thread will be a real life line.

fluffyraggies Fri 02-Aug-13 15:00:19

Hi xuxidog - sorry to hear you are having to play a waiting game. It's very hard isn't?

My advice to you would copy and paste your post and start a little thread of your own in Antenatal Test and Choices here on MN. You will probably get more general traffic and chat/support, as this thread tends to be quite quiet with just info. updates from time to time.

I wish you the very best, and that your results come back soon and are clear smile x

Xuxidog Sat 03-Aug-13 09:01:36

Thanks fluffyraggies, I have gone ahead and done that.

I have read your story, and I am sorry that the test didn't work for you as it seems that knowing the results would benefit you a lot based on your previous experience.

Will you be doing an amnio? x

MrsJ78 Mon 05-Aug-13 20:18:48

I've copied this from another thread just in case anyone is using this thread to see how other people's results turned out:

It's good news!! I called at 4.30pm to see if the results had come in and they had. I could tell they were in as they checked all of my details twice (first name, surname, date of birth etc) and then put me on hold while they transferred my call. I had so much adrenaline pumping that my hands were shaking. Anyway, the news is great - low risk so the usual 1:10,000 etc. Results were emailed to me moments later. We are over the moon. I think it is going to take a while for it to really sink in.

I can't say enough good things about the FMC - really amazing. I would love to be able to go back for my 20 week scan but I doubt that will be possible. I am so glad I had the Harmony test and feel so grateful that it was available this time around (it wasn't for my previous pregnancy). Due to my slightly later stage of pregnancy (15 weeks at the time of testing) I had to pay the £400 fee but I can honestly say it is the best money I have ever spent.

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